If you value professional networking, you’ll join LinkedIn. Numbers alone make a strong case: according to Nielsen Online, LinkedIn grew 320 percent from March 2007 to March 2008. LinkedIn reports 43 million members in more than 170 industries in 200 countries. The LinkedIn blog claims this site is growing at the rate of one new member per second!
Because of the power of referrals, we need to connect with one another more than ever. Who among us hasn’t, at sometime or another, gotten the job because of someone we know?
Here are 10 reasons to use LinkedIn:
1. Increase your visibility by creating a user-friendly virtual business card.
2. Improve your connectability by posting a complete professional bio.
3. Advance yourself, your website and your blog up the Google PageRank ladder. People are searching for you; LinkedIn comes up high in page rankings.
4. Scope out the competition, customers, partners and others.
5. Ask for advice. With LinkedInAnswers, you can ask business-related questions to your network and to the entire network.
6. Gauge the health of a company—note employee turnover and if key people have recently left.
7. Track startup companies that may be potential clients or competitors.
8. Perform blind, “reverse,” and company reference checks. Find out about the person who used to have the job you’ve applied for or learn about a department’s manager.
9. Increase the relevancy of your job search. Find companies that need your specific skills and learn about the company before you apply.
10. Make a job interview go smoother by learning about the person you’re meeting. Maybe you went to the same school or both enjoy skiing.
Social networking values relationship building over transactions. It takes some time and effort to build up that network. And, as with nearly anything, the more effort you expend, the greater the reward. But, even a little time invested in LinkedIn can pay handsomely.
Learn more at www.linkedin.com